You dipped your hand into the river
and felt cold water nuzzling your palm
the way your corgis would at home.
Held it there, for what seemed an hour
until wrinkles formed on your skin
grown soft underwater as our silence
was drowned out by the rapids,
the need for talking taken by the currents,
pulled rapidly towards oblivion,
sinking slowly to the stones,
littering the floor of the Chattahoochee
somewhere west in Alabama –
carried to a different state
as I would be in a manner of days.
We submerged our dreams in the river,
watched the rapid dispersal of our future,
futile amidst the foam at the shore
whitewashed against the rocks;
The wall we’d somehow managed to hit
even though it’d been visible for months
the thrill of the ride always eclipsing
the inevitable end of it all.
You rose, and your fingers cast droplets
out over the water, illuminated in the sun.
You breathed life into this scene,
bringing the kayaks in the distance into focus
as downtown Columbus stirs itself from slumber.
Sunday morning and you’re fresh out of church;
I’m barely fresh out of bed instead
still riding a coffee kick beside the river –
reverence for life beside the water with you.
Holy waters running alongside my holy ghosts
to baptise a life without you moving on.
Stone by stone skimmed upon the surface
absolved at the prospect of leaving.
Chichester, January 2017